39th Annual Greek Festival Brings a Taste of Greece to Orange County – June 23-25, 2017
Three-day traditional Greek festival with food, wine, music & dance returns to Irvine
IRVINE, MAY 2017– Orange County’s 39th annual “A Taste of Greece” festival will be held on June 23-25 at St. Paul’s Greek Orthodox Church (4949 Alton Parkway, between Culver Drive and Jeffrey Road, Irvine, CA 92604). More than 12,000 guests are expected to attend the three-day festival, which will feature traditional Greek cuisine and pastries, wine tasting, live music, church tours, authentic Greek dancing with lessons, and boutique booths reminiscent of the Plaka, a well-known picturesque historical neighborhood of Athens.
Festival hours are 5 p.m. to 10 p.m. on Friday, June 23; noon to 10 p.m. on Saturday, June 24; and noon to 9 p.m. on Sunday, June 25. Festival admission is just $3 per person, with free admission on Saturday, June 24 from noon – 5 p.m. for seniors 65 years and older. Children under the age of 10 are admitted free (with parents or an adult) throughout the three-day festival. Free festival parking will also be available, with complimentary shuttle buses transporting guests from public parking sites in Irvine.
Greek cuisine and hospitality will be the focal points as the festival will feature authentic recipes for traditional Greek dishes, delicious pastries and a variety of beverages, highlighted with a wine “Taverna,” offering Greek wine and beer. The traditional Greek menu will include Chicken, Lamb Chops, Greek French Fries, Gyros, Pastichio (Greek lasagna), Loucanico (Greek sausage), Spanakopita (spinach and feta pie), Dolmathes (stuffed grape leaves), Saganaki (Greek brandy-flamed cheese), Loukoumathes (Greek doughnut holes), Greek Salad, Calamari and more. There will also be a Greek coffeehouse set up by Portola Coffee Lab to serve Greek and American coffee drinks in a traditional Plaka setting. The Philoptochos, the church’s philanthropic group, will bake around the clock during the weeks leading up to the festival to prepare traditional Baklava and other exquisite pastries.
“As Orange County’s largest Greek Orthodox congregation, we are delighted to host a festival that offers an opportunity for the community to experience authentic Greek dining, wine, music, dancing, and entertainment,” said Father Steven Tsichlis, Pastor at St. Paul’s Greek Orthodox Church. “This year’s festival, our 39th annual, will offer something for everyone with a variety of Greek-themed activities, and tours of the Church to view the beautiful sanctuary that contains Christian artwork done in mosaic patterned after ancient prototypes that are unique in Orange County.”
A family-friendly affair, the festival will offer free Greek dance lessons throughout the weekend, and also feature boutique shops, a variety of games and a full-scale carnival. Event attendees can also enter an opportunity drawing for the chance to win one of five premiere prizes.
For more information on the “A Taste of Greece” festival, please visit www.IrvineGreekFest.com
About St. Paul’s Greek Orthodox Church
St. Paul’s Greek Orthodox Church began in 1977 when a handful of people took the initiative to organize a new Greek Orthodox Church in Orange County. Today the church is flourishing with large youth and senior citizens programs, modern Greek language classes for children and adults, a bookstore and a beautiful sanctuary filled with mosaic artwork. The church places an emphasis on “Philoptochos” – also the name of the church philanthropic group – a Greek word meaning “love for the poor,” by supporting Kids ‘N’ Cancer; an orphanage for boys outside Tijuana, Mexico; digging wells for villages in Africa; building churches and providing medical supplies for church-run clinics and hospitals in Tanzania; and much more.